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Zhonghua Yi Xue Za Zhi (Taipei). 1999 Sep;62(9):577-85.

Multiplane transesophageal echocardiography for assessing cardiac abnormalities: comparison to biplane imaging.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Veterans General Hospital-Kaohsiung, Taiwan, ROC.



Transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) is useful for visualizing the spatial relationships of the cardiac anatomy. The purpose of this study was to compare the diagnostic yield of multiplane TEE with that of biplane TEE in assessing cardiac abnormalities.


A total of 102 consecutive patients underwent an initial comprehensive diagnostic assessment using transverse (0 degree) and longitudinal (90 degrees +/- 2 degrees) planes in the biplane imaging technique. "Off-axis" tomographic sections through the full 0 degree to 180 degrees angle were obtained later by means of the gradual electrical rotation of the transducer. The echoscope can be manipulated to improve the quality of images. All data were recorded on high fidelity videotapes. Subsequently, one observer reviewed only biplane TEE images, while another reviewed only multiplane TEE images; both were blinded to the other's TEE data. The echocardiographic results obtained by these two observers were compared to determine whether multiplane TEE provides any additional information.


Multiplane TEE detected more cardiac lesions (275) compared to biplane TEE (235). Significantly more (70 cases) information affecting patient management was obtained using multiplane TEE. Among these patients, biplane TEE detected cardiac lesions in 48 (68.6%) patients. Additional diagnoses provided by multiplane TEE were found in 22 (31.4%) patients. These findings included ventricular septal defect in two patients, prosthetic valve dysfunction in three, cardiac tumor or clot in four, endocarditis in two, aortic dissection in one, valvular abnormality in nine and coronary arteriovenous fistula in one.


Multiplane TEE provides precise visualization of cardiac structures without undue probe manipulation, resulting in greater diagnostic assurance than does biplane TEE.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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